Revived Bristol Arena plans secure planning consent

Plans for the long-delayed Bristol Arena concert venue along with a connected mixed-use scheme have been approved by councillors after planners concluded that the development would deliver the 'positive regeneration' of a key brownfield site.

An artist's impression of the finished scheme
An artist's impression of the finished scheme

Bristol City Council’s development control committee yesterday voted in favour of two applications by the council’s major projects team relating to the scheme.

The committee granted full planning permission for the construction of the 12,000-capacity arena on the southern part of the former Diesel Depot site on Bath Road, along with the creation of a public plaza and further landscaping.

An application for outline permission for up to 19,000 square metres of mixed-use development on the Arena Island site was also approved.

Both decisions were made subject to conditions and in line with planning officer recommendation.

The plans were submitted to the council in December 2015, but decisions on both applications were deferred last month as a masterplan for the overall site was requested, along with further information about travel planning.

Transport measures included in the updated application included widened footways; more bike parking; confirmation of taxi and coach drop-off bays; and enhancement of existing park and ride services.

A planning report ahead of this week’s committee meeting said members’ concerns had been addressed.

The report added: "Together, the detailed proposals for the arena and the outline proposals for the remainder of Arena Island will deliver the positive regeneration of a brownfield site in the centre of the city."

The approval marks a breakthrough in a long battle to get the arena built.

Plans were axed almost 10 years ago over cost concerns, but Bristol mayor George Ferguson pledged to revive the scheme as part of his election campaign in 2012. 

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